September 20th, 2018
World Week of Peace for Palestine and Israel
As the ‘Great March of Return’ enters its 27th week, peaceful protests continue amidst the ongoing use of live fire by Israeli occupying forces. Shadi Abd al-Al, age 12 and Suhaib Abed Al-Salam Abu Kashef, age 16 have succumbed to wounds. More than 100 people were wounded including 14 children by live fire last Friday.
- Lord of justice,give the Israeli occupying forces along the Gaza border the insight to see that their use of live ammunition against peaceful protesters is an unjustifiable crime. Bring comfort to the families of those who have been injured and killed, especially children, who have only just begun to see the wonders of your world. Lord, in your mercy…
Since East Jerusalem was occupied and illegally annexed in 1967, the government of Israel’s primary goal in Jerusalem has been to create a demographic and geographic situation that will thwart any future attempt to challenge Israeli sovereignty over the city.
- Ten measures of beauty God gave to the world, nine to Jerusalem, one to the rest – ten measures of sorrow God gave to the world, nine to Jerusalem, one to the rest. So, pray for the peace, pray for the peace; pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Lord, in your mercy…
Palestinians inside Israel
Palestinians living within Israel suffer from treatment as second-class citizens on a daily basis. This unfair treatment was, until recently carried out quietly and without government recognition. With the recent passing of the ‘Nation-State law’ this treatment has been confirmed in Israeli law.
- Righteous Lord stand with all those facing oppression on a daily basis. Give Palestinians citizens of Israel the strength to stand up to these laws designed to make them second-class citizens and to make their struggles clear to those in power around the world. Lord, in your mercy…
2018 marks 70 years since the start of the 1948 Nakba where 500 villages were razed to the ground. Palestinians continue to be treated as second class citizens, with little space to build homes due to loss of their lands.
- Although the dark night of oppression lingers, the dawn of justice will break. May God work through the people of good will to bring about a genuine peace based on justice and mercy, so that forgiveness and reconciliation will prevail for all the people of Palestine and Israel. Lord, in your mercy…
In recent weeks there has been a move from the government of the United States to change the status of Palestinian refugees. This change of policy signals the removing of the ‘Right of Return’ from any Palestinian who was not one of the original refugees created by the Nakba. This move wouldfulfil a long-held wish of the Israeli government to ensure a majority Jewish population in Israel.
- Almighty and merciful God, Jesus became a refugee and had no place to call his own, look with mercy on those who have fled and continue to flee today from danger, homelessness, and hunger. Bless those who work to bring them relief; inspire generosity and compassion in all our hearts; and guide the nations of the world towards that day when all will rejoice in your kingdom of justice and peace. Lord, in your mercy…
Occupation, Settlements & Home Demolitions
The Israeli government continues to occupy Palestinian land. Ongoing illegal settlement building along with the destruction of villages, such as Al Khan al-Ahmar are a daily occurrence.
- Lord, hear us as we remember those affected by the occupation, settlements and land confiscations in Palestine. We pray for Palestinian families forced to leave their homes. We ask you to strengthen the hands of Palestinians and Israelis who work for an end to oppression and injustice. Lord, in your mercy…
Women against the occupation
Many women continue to stand against the occupation in various ways.
- Lord our God, we pray that the women of Palestine and Israel may be inspired to live in peace by acting justly, loving tenderly and walking humbly with you, our God. We pray that your Holy Spirit will open their eyes and help them to see what hope your call holds for them. May they be firm in the hope they profess and always be ready to give the reason for the hope they have. Lord, in your mercy…
At the end of June 2018, 273 Palestinian children were held in Israeli prisons as security detainees and prisoners, including 3 administrative detainees. Another two Palestinian children were held in Israeli Prison Service facilities for being in Israel illegally. The Israeli Police Service considers that these children, both detainees and prisoners, are criminal offenders.
In addition, a small number of children are held in Israeli Army-run facilities for short periods of time.
- Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.’(Luke18:16).We pray that these children may receive support andhelp to overcome these harrowing experiences and restore them to their families. We pray that the hearts of our childrenmay be full of hope and free from fear. Lord, in your mercy…
West Bank and Gaza strip residents constantly suffer severe water shortages due to the policies of Israel. Access to water and proper sanitation is a basic right enshrined in the United Nations Charter.
- Lord, we are so thankful for your provision, that you make the sun rise on the land and that you send the rain to make the crops grow. We know that your mercy is over all that you have made. May we be merciful to one another in how we share your provision, ensuring that all our needs are met equitably and that none are left to hunger or thirst. Lord, in your mercy…
- We join the World Council of Churches as they pray for the countries of Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay.
The themes and prayers for this week are adapted from the Sabeel Contemporary Way of the Cross.